In this file photo, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Alexis Lebrake, assigned to Air Department's V-1 Division, guides an F/A-18C Hornet as it taxis on the flight deck aboard aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Dec. 31, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin Stevens)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) announced the winners of the 2011 Aviation Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") awards Feb. 10.

The aviation Battle "E" is the Navy's top performance award presented to the aircraft carrier and aviation squadron in each competitive category that achieves the highest standards of performance readiness and efficiency. The award recognizes a unit's training and operational achievements while including a balance that incentivizes efficiency.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) was the Battle "E" winner of the aircraft carrier category for the West Coast while the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) won for the East Coast.

"The warfighting excellence shown by these squadrons and the Vinson and the Bush proves them to be the best of the best. I am incredibly proud of their accomplishments," said Vice Adm. Al Myers, CNAF commander. "In a time of increased demand and a constrained fiscal environment, these Sailors, Officers and Aviators continue to deliver combat effectiveness and to display the professionalism and pride that is the hallmark of Naval Aviation."

In the aviation squadron competitions, each aviation Type-Commander selects a winner in every category, while CNAF selects the Navy-wide winners, resulting in three sets of recipients.

The 2011 Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic squadrons selected as Battle "E" winners are:

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15, "Valions", for the VFA-C category Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136, "Knighthawks", for the VFA-E/F category Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141, "Shadow Hawks", for the VAQ CVW category Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124, "Bear Aces", for the VAW category Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9, "Tridents", for the HS/HSC category Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42, "Proud Warriors", for the HSL EXP category Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, "Dragon Wales", for the HSC EXP category Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, "Red Lancers", for the VP category

The 2011 Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet squadrons selected as Battle "E" winners are:

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, "Vigilantes", for the VFA-C category Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2, "Bounty Hunters", for the VFA-E/F category Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131, "Lancers", for the VAQ CVW category Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, "Black Eagles", for the VAW category Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4, "Black Knights", for the HS/HSC category Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 37, "Easy Riders", for the HSL EXP category Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, "Wildcards", for the HSC EXP category Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, "Skinny Dragons", for the VP category

The 2011 CNAF squadrons selected as Battle "E" winners are:

Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132, "Scorpions", for the VAQ EXP category Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77, "Saberhawks", for the HSM category Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15 "Blackhawks", for the HM category Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 2 "Rangers", for the VQ EW category Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 4, "Shadows", for the VQ TACAMO category Patrol Squadron Special Projects Unit (VPU) 1, "Pirates", for the VPU category Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 "Providers", for the VRC category

The Battle "E" competition is conducted to strengthen individual command performance, overall force readiness, and to recognize outstanding performance within the naval aviation force.

Grading metrics for attaining the Battle "E" award include: Operational achievement, training, inspection accomplishments, material and personnel readiness, aviation safety, weapon systems and tactics development, and contributions to the aviation community.

Each member attached to a winning ship or squadron earns the right to wear the Battle "E" ribbon on their uniform, or if they already posses that ribbon, they can add an additional "E" device to the ribbon.